Rock star Dee Snider said on Monday that any politician or advocate is free to use his 1984 anthem “We’re Not Gonna Take It” at rallies or events on one condition: they can only use it if they’re pro-choice.
As Yahoo Entertainment reports, the song, which he wrote and recorded back when he was with glam-rock band Twisted Sister, seems a perfect match for politicians. After all, the pounding rhythm and the anti-establishment lyrics seem a perfect match for a politician trying to rally the crowd.
And Snider, 64, is fine with that. At least, he’s fine with it if a pro-choice politician or advocate is using it. In fact, he says that a politician’s stance on the abortion issue is a litmus test for whether or not he’ll let them use the song.
“There’s a simple litmus test here: Are you pro-choice?… It’s not like you choose for yourself, and that means you can have children, or you don’t have children.”
Snider went on to claim that any politician who opposes abortion is essentially deciding for their self what is right for another person.
Dee was clear that he wouldn’t prohibit the use of his music along party lines, as some musicians have done. He said that Democrats and Republicans alike are free to use the song as long as they’re pro-choice. That means anti-abortion Democrats can’t use it, and pro-choice Republicans can.
In fact, Snider himself even asked none other than Donald Trump not to use his song, a request with which Donald Trump complied. It remains unclear, as of this writing, if that request came about because of Snider’s views on abortion.
The issue of politicians using musicians’ songs at their campaign rallies comes up from time to time, and it’s a complicated legal and Constitutional issue with no clear answer.
Officially, all that has to happen for a song to be performed publicly (say, at a campaign rally, or at a bar on Friday night) is for the venue to pay a licensing fee to a music rights-management group such as ASCAP or BMI, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.
However, musicians frequently object to politicians using their songs, and every campaign season there will be news stories of this musician or that musician sending a letter, through his attorney, to the offending politician, telling them to stop. And in every such case in U.S. history, the politician has stopped, rather than challenge the letter in court.
For this reason, there’s no legal precedent that says one way or the other if a politician can use a musician’s song without the musician’s permission. Unless and until a politician endures a costly legal battle and bad publicity over the issue, it’s likely to remain unsettled.